1 King Solomon summoned all the leaders of the tribes and clans of Israel to come to him in Jerusalem. They were to take Jehovahs Ark of the Covenant from Zion, David's City, to the Temple.
2 They all assembled during the festival. It was the seventh month, the month of Ethanim.
3 As soon as all the elders gathered, the priests lifted the Ark
4 and carried it to the Temple. The Levites and the priests also moved the Tent of Jehovahs presence and all its equipment to the Temple.
5 King Solomon and all the people of Israel assembled in front of the Ark and sacrificed a large number of sheep and cattle, too many to count.
6 Then the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant into the Temple and put it in the Most Holy Place, beneath the cherubim angel.
7 Their outstretched wings covered the box and the poles it was carried by.
8 The ends of the poles could be seen by anyone standing directly in front of the Most Holy Place, but from nowhere else.
9 There was nothing inside the Ark of the Covenant except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed there at Mount Sinai, when Jehovah made a covenant with the people of Israel as they were coming from Egypt.
10 As the priests were leaving the Temple, it was suddenly filled with a cloud.
11 It shined with the dazzling light of Jehovahs presence. They could not go back in to perform their duties.
12 Solomon prayed: »Jehovah, you have placed the sun in the sky, yet you have chosen to live in clouds and darkness.
13 »Now I have built a majestic temple for you, a place for you to live in for a very long time.«
14 King Solomon turned to face the people standing there. He asked God's blessing on them.
15 He said: »Praise Jehovah the God of Israel! He kept the promise he made to my father David, when he told him:
16 »Since the time I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen any city in all the land of Israel in which a temple should be built where I would be worshiped. But I chose you, David, to rule my people.«
17 Solomon continued: »My father David planned to build a temple for the worship of Jehovah the God of Israel,
18 »Jehovah said to him: You were right in wanting to build a temple for me.
19 »However you will never build it. It is your son who will build my temple.«
20 »Now Jehovah has kept his promise. I have succeeded my father as king of Israel. And I have built the Temple for the worship of Jehovah the God of Israel.
21 »I also provided a place in the Temple for the Ark of the Covenant containing the stone tablets of the covenant Jehovah made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.«
22 In the presence of the people Solomon stood in front of the altar. He raised his arms
23 and prayed: »Jehovah God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth below! You keep your covenant with your people and show them your love when they live in wholehearted obedience to you.
24 »You kept the promise you made to my father David. Every word has been fulfilled.
25 »Jehovah, God of Israel, I pray that you will also keep the other promise you made to my father when you told him there would always be one of his descendants ruling as king of Israel, provided they obeyed you as carefully as he did.
26 »So now, O God of Israel, let your word come true that you promised to my father David, your servant.
27 »Can you, O God, really live on earth? Not even heaven or the heaven of heavens is large enough to hold you. How can this Temple I have built be large enough?
28 »Jehovah my God, I am your servant. Listen to my prayer. Grant the requests I make to you today.
29 »Watch over this Temple day and night. For this is the place where you have chosen to be worshiped. Hear me when I face this Temple and pray.
30 »Hear my prayers and the prayers of your people. In your home in heaven hear us and forgive us.
31 »When a person is accused of wronging another and is brought to your altar in this Temple to take an oath that he is innocent,
32 »O Jehovah, listen in heaven and judge your servants. Punish the guilty one, as he deserves. Justify the one who is innocent.
33 »When your people Israel have sinned against you their enemies defeat them. They can turn to you and come to this Temple, humbly praying to you for forgiveness.
34 Listen to them in heaven. Forgive the sins of your people and bring them back to the land that you gave to their ancestors.
35 »When you hold back the rain because your people have sinned against you. And when they repent in this Temple, humbly praying to you,
36 listen to them in heaven. Forgive the sins of the king and of the people of Israel, and teach them to do what is right. Then, O Jehovah, send rain on this land of yours, which you gave to your people as a permanent possession.
37 »When there is famine in the land or an epidemic or scorching winds or swarms of locusts, or when their enemies attack your people, or when disease or sickness among them destroys the crops,
38 listen to their prayers. If any of your people Israel, out of heartfelt sorrow, stretch out their hands in prayer toward this Temple,
39 hear their prayer. Listen to them in your home in heaven, help them and forgive them. You alone know the thoughts of the human heart. Deal with each person, as he deserves,
40 so that your people may obey you all the time they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.
41 »When a foreigner who lives in a distant land hears of your fame and of the great things you have done for your people and comes to worship you and to pray at this Temple,
42 »For they will have news of your great name and your strong hand and your out-stretched arm. When he comes to pray in this house:
43 »Listen to him and give him his desire. Let all the peoples of the earth know about your name. Let them worship you as your people Israel, and that they may see that this house which I have built is truly named by your name.
44 »When your people go to war against their enemies, they pray to you, O Jehovah, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I built for your name.
45 »Hear their prayer for mercy in heaven, and do what is right for them.
46 »They may sin against you, for everyone sins. You may become angry with them and hand them over to an enemy far or near who takes them to another country as captives.
47 »If they come to their senses and are sorry for what they have done, and plead with you in the land where they are captives, saying: We have sinned. We have done wrong. We have been wicked.
48 »If they change their attitude toward you in the land of their enemies where they are captives, if they pray to you toward the land that you gave their ancestors, and the city you have chosen, and the temple I have built for your name,
49 then in heaven, the place where you live, hear their prayer for mercy. Do what is right for them.
50 »Forgive your people, who have sinned against you. Forgive all their wrongs when they rebelled against you. Cause those who captured them to have mercy on them.
51 »They are your own people. You brought them out of Egypt from the middle of an iron smelter.
52 »May your eyes always see my plea and your people Israel's plea so that you will listen to them whenever they call on you.
53 »You Jehovah set them apart from all the people of the world. They are your own as you promised through your servant Moses when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt.«
54 When Solomon finished praying this prayer for mercy to Jehovah, he stood in front of Jehovahs altar, where he had been kneeling with his hands stretched out toward heaven.
55 Then he stood and in a loud voice blessed the entire assembly of Israel:
56 "THANKS TO JEHOVAH! He has given his people Israel rest, as he has promised. None of the good promises he made through his servant Moses has failed to come true.
57 »May Jehovah our God be with us as he was with our ancestors. May he not leave us or abandon us.
58 »May he bend our hearts toward him. Then we will follow him and obey his commands, laws, and rules, which he commanded our ancestors to obey.
59 »May these words I have prayed to Jehovah be near Jehovah our God day and night. Then he will give his people Israel and me justice every day as it is needed.
60 »In this way all the people of the earth may know that Jehovah is God and there is no other god.
61 »Let your hearts be committed to Jehovah our God. Then you will live by his laws and keep his commands as you have today.«
62 Then the king and all Israel offered sacrifices to Jehovah.
63 Solomon sacrificed twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred twenty thousand sheep as fellowship offerings to Jehovah. So the king and all the people of Israel dedicated Jehovahs Temple.
64 On that day the king designated the courtyard in front of Jehovahs Temple as a holy place. He sacrificed the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat from the fellowship offerings because the copper altar in front of Jehovah was too small to hold all of them.
65 At that time Solomon and all Israel celebrated the festival. A large crowd had come from the territory between the border of Hamath and the River of Egypt to be near Jehovah our God for seven days.
66 On the eighth day he dismissed the people. They blessed the king and went to their tents. They rejoiced with cheerful hearts for all the blessings Jehovah had given his servant David and his people Israel.